Ladies and gentlemen: Chris Evans, the most inexplicably specific typecast actor alive. Seriously, in 2011, the guy was in, not one, but "two" movies where he played unconventional justice defenders who were pumped with lord knows what kind of wildly dangerous experimental drug that gave him super human muscles. Yeah, I know that the main drug he's using in the film doesn't seem to really do anything to his muscles, but remember that he was a drug addict before this stuff came along, so who knows what kind of insane chemicals were fired into his veins that caused him to gain a single peck that's about as big as George Lopez's head. The guy is so ripped out that I don't even know if regular "steroids" could get him to the state he's in, let alone working out. I know that I'm making him sound more intense than he actually is, but it's impressive enough that he's able to aquire a six-pack, because when you actually pay attention how he looks and sounds, you'd think that for the skinny Steve Rogers effect in "Captain America", they had to scale him "up". No, I'm kidding, he's manly enough to pull his muscles off, and plus, he's manly enough to pull "my" muscles off, so I better not say anything, but don't think that that's the only reason why I'm saying that the dude is another fine example of how a lot of our newer actors are so good, that they could be caked in enough muscle to the point of being rendered totally immobilized, and you'll still take them seriously as a performer. Still, no matter how awesome - in several ways - Chris Evans is as this lawyer, not even Atticus Finch could defend this film from its missteps.
In concept, this is easily one of the most unique and wildly inventive lawyer drama concepts that we've seen in a very long time. In execution, however, this is more of the same. Sure, the film's not as beat-for-beat formulaic as the consensus makes it sound, but the Kassen Brothers' storytelling is more conventional than the actual story is unique, and the result is a film that has some pretty nifty ideas that unfortunately find themselves filtered down to the same level as your more run-of-the-mill drama of this type. Really, outside of that and the occasional spot in dialogue, there's not the much plaguing by the film, but it's not like its conventions are diluting it too heavily, because this is not the most - pardon my obviously intentional pun - "puncturing" tale. This film could have picked up momentum if the Kassen Brother gave it that extra punch, but as it stands, this is a rather underwhelming concept by default and is made more so by conventional storytelling, creating a great deal of lapses in engagement that could have rendered this film utterly forgettable. However, the film is above that, being a not alway smooth, but ultimately rewarding film. If nothing else, it's made charming by some pretty snappy style.
The Kassens may not be able to fully convey the essence of our lead to the point of making and his struggles consistently engaging, but not for lack of trying. Many of the stylish choices - from some snappy lines, to soundtrack - made by the Kassens adds emphasis to the free spirit of the Mike Weiss character, while clever, yet believable legal dialogue - that's also rather snappy at points - shows that he's not only a down-to-earth dude at his prime, but a real professional, and a hard-working at that. This really shows a lot of humanity in Mike Weiss, yet still has you believing that he can do near anything, making it that much heavier when anything from a schedule slip-up, to him facing his comeuppance falls on Weiss' head. Sure, the Kassens' execution of their fairly sharp script certainly stands to be more compelling, but on the whole, the lead that they have crafted is a very human subject who's struggles really pick up the pieces more often than they drop them. Of course, the real smooth-talking representer of the Mike Weiss characer, and by extension, the film itself, is leading man Chris Evans, who's charm and wit further sell Weiss as the very professional, yet still rather down-to-earth picture that he is. As if that's not enough to make him an engaging lead, when things begin to unravel and Weiss finds his cover not only blown, but back to bite him in the - as Forrest Gump would put it - "bauttocks", Evans becomes hard-to-watch, yet you can't look away as he portrays the frustrations and pains of a man that's this deep into his own mess and can't find his way out with such weight, but grace. Evans carries this film as he further proves himself to be more than just big bag of muscles, and if you see this film for no other reason, see it for Evans' deep and heavy, yet rather subtle portrayal of such a complex and unique character.
To close this case and flush the stash, the Kassens' conventional storytelling exacarbates the film's already somewhat underwhelming premise - unique, though, the concept is on paper -, creating some gaping lulls in engagement, but what keeps pulling you back in is, if nothing else, the Kassens' snappy style and writing, but most of all, Chris Evans' charismatic, when not heartbreakingly heavy performances that carries "Puncture" and helps in making it the generally rewarding dramatic study that it ultimately is.
3/5 - Good